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Close up shot of instant pot taco meat on a wooden spoon
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5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Taco Meat (fresh + frozen)

How to cook Instant Pot taco meat- from fresh or frozen ground beef! This recipe can be ready and on your table in 20 minutes or less.
Prep Time2 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time17 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
Calories: 158kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (see note 1)
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (see note 2)
  • cup water
  • 1 cup water (for frozen ground beef only)

Instructions

Fresh/Thawed Ground Beef

  • Place the ground beef into the stainless steel inner pot of a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot.
  • Put the lid on, set the steam release handle to the 'sealing' position, and select pressure cook (or 'manual' for older models) for 2 minutes.
  • When the pressure cooking cycle is complete, carefully move the steam release handle to the 'venting' position (quick pressure release).
  • Open the lid, and carefully drain off any fat if there is some.
  • Set the Instant Pot to 'sautee', and cook for 2-3 minutes, breaking the meat up with a spatula, until it is cooked through with no pink remaining.
  • Add taco seasoning and water, and simmer for 1-2 more minutes, until sauce is thickened.
  • Using oven mitts, remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot to avoid it over-cooking.

Frozen Ground Beef

  • Place 1 cup of water (for 6 quart) or 1.5 cups water (for 8 quart) into the stainless steel inner pot of the Instant Pot. Place the trivet on top of the water, and place the fully frozen beef on the trivet.
  • Put the lid on, set the steam release handle to the 'sealing' position, and select pressure cook (or 'manual' for older models) for 5 minutes.
  • When the pressure cooking cycle is complete, carefully move the steam release handle to the 'venting' position (quick pressure release).
  • Using oven mitts, pull the trivet with the beef out of the pot. Pour the water out of the inner pot and return to the Instant Pot. Add the partially cooked ground beef back to the inner pot.
  • Set the Instant Pot to 'sautee', and cook for 2-3 minutes, breaking the meat up with a spatula, until it is cooked through with no pink remaining.
  • Add taco seasoning and water, and simmer for 1-2 more minutes, until sauce is thickened.
  • Using oven mitts, remove the inner pot from the Instant Pot to avoid it over-cooking.

Video

Notes

1- ground beef may be swapped for ground turkey
2- depending on the brand of taco meat, you may need 2- 4 tablespoons; use the amount of seasoning and water specified on the package.
Doubling the recipe
Fresh- You may double the recipe using fresh beef.
Frozen- You will need to rotate the beef when cooking it from frozen as it will overcook on the outside and still be frozen on the inside:
  • cook for 2 minutes
  • release the pressure
  • pry the 2 slabs of beef apart, placing the frozen parts on the outside and the thawed parts on the inside
  • pressure cook for 3 more minutes
Storage
Cooked taco meat may be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days in an air tight container.
It can be cooled completely, portioned out into freezer bags or meal prep containers, and frozen for up to 3 months.
*nutritional information is for ¼ pound of beef; roughly ½ cup of taco meat.

Nutrition

Serving: 4oz * | Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 181mg | Potassium: 392mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 117IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 3mg